Tag Archives: Los Angeles Lakers

Michael Jordan Has Brotherly Love For Kobe Bryant

Michael Jordan made it abundantly clear about his feelings regarding Kobe Bean Bryant during his 20th annual Michael Jordan Flight School in Santa Barbara, California.

“Even though he stole all my moves, but that’s OK. I still love him like a brother,” proclaimed the iconic Jordan.

“I think he’s one of the great players of the game, I think he’s done a lot for the game, and he has a true love for the game of basketball,” he continued. “I absolutely have high regard for Kobe Bryant.”

Mainly anonymous sources, along with some players and coaches around the league, have been known to make Bryant out to be a competitive yet treacherous nomad with whom nobody gets along.  A few others have tabbed him as the reason the Los Angles Lakers have been unable to land big name free-agents lately. And then there’s that whole Shaq thing.

But when the greatest player in the game expresses high regard and love for you, how much does the opinion of Jared Dudley really matter?

We discuss how the power of Michael Jordan’s love exceeds any hate for Kobe Bryant in this edition of P.A.G.E. 24.

 

NBA’s Western Conference Mirrors Crowded GOP Race

Kobe Bryant told Yahoo Sports that the Los Angeles Lakers could ‘absolutely’ make the playoffs this season. Sure it is mathematically possible for the Lakers to finish in the top eight of the Western Conference. What is more likely to happen is they fall short while battling in a competitive field.

Much like the 2016 Republican presidential campaign, the Western Conference is so fully loaded that teams with adequate talent will not make the playoffs the same way Governors Rick Perry and Bobby Jindal didn’t qualify for the first presidential debate.

45-37 was good enough for the Lakers to get the 7th seed in the 2006 season, but that win total wasn’t enough for the Oklahoma City Thunder to make the playoffs in 2015. After 21 victories last season, the Lakers can drastically improve, even double their win total, and it still may only be good enough for 9th place.

The Lakers will join the Utah Jazz, Phoenix Suns, Denver Nuggets and Portland Trailblazers  in jockeying for position like Senators Lindsey Graham and Rick Santorum- except they have a better chance of making the playoffs than either of them have of getting the GOP nomination.

 

Jordan Clarkson & D’Angelo Russell Shine In Summer League Debut

The Los Angeles Lakers shook the scales when they drafted D’Angelo Russell over Jahlil Okafor with the second pick in the 2015 NBA draft. If their debut in the 2015 Summer League is any indication, pairing him alongside Jordan Clarkson will give the Lakers a versatile and athletic tandem in the back-court.

Russell controlled the offense and scored eight points, grabbed five rebounds, and dished out six assists with three steals. Clarkson scored a team-high 23 points.

Lakers Pick Up The Pieces: Roy Hibbert

XXIV, PAGE 24, Lakers

After being rejected by LaMarcus Aldridge, DeAndre Jordan, and Greg Monroe, the Los Angeles Lakers salvaged their summer of free-agency by trading for two-time All-Star Roy Hibbert.

Hibbert is by no means a franchise player like Aldridge, but does address a need on defense. In the 2014-2015 season, the Lakers were 29th in both defensive rating and opponents points per game. Hibbert is a 7’2 legitimate center that will provide instant rim protection..

The move allows the Lakers to keep their financial flexibility. Hibbert is 28 (younger than Aldridge) and in the final year of his contract, which should provide added incentive to play well.

In this edition of P.A.G.E. 24 we analyze why the Lakers haven’t been able to lure free-agents to Los Angeles the past few summers, and how Roy Hibbert can help their young core.

Lakers Last Supper Portrait for the 2010 Lakers album 'Purple Reign'

Lakers Album: Purple Reign

Intro:

 

Lakers World Order Theme:

 

2 Sweet:

 

Gunz Blazing:

 

Light’s Out:

 

The Greatest Show:

 

Lakehouse:

 

Downtown Live:

 

The Hotness:

 

Lakers Haters:

 

Outro(Fame & Fortune) / Never Give Up:


BONUS TRACKS

The Public Option:

 

Count On Me:

Versus: Kobe v LeBron – Who Had More Help?

As LeBron James enters his sixth NBA Finals competition, the comparisons and contrasts with his superstar peers are made. Kobe Bryant has 5 rings with the Los Angeles Lakers, but many analysts do not credit his first three (2000-2002) as being a part of his individual accomplishments. Still, LeBron clearly joined Dwyane Wade and Chirs Bosh in Miami because he grew weary of trying to win it on his own, and collected back-to-back titles with the Heat.

Here is a statistical breakdown of Kobe’s three trips to the NBA Finals (without Shaq) and LeBron’s first three trips to the Finals along with their supporting casts numbers.

 

Celtics 2008 NBA FINALS CHAMPIONS (CELTICS 4-2)

Kobe 25.7 4.7reb 5.0asst

Gasol 14.7 10.2reb 3.3asst

Odom 13.5 9.0reb 3.0asst

(Bynum Didn’t participate in series)

 

Lakers 2009 NBA FINALS CHAMPIONS (4-1)

Kobe 32.4 5.6reb 7.4asst

Gasol avg 18.6 9.2reb 2.2ast

Odom 13.4, 7.4 reb 0.8ast

Bynum  6pts 4reb 0.6 asst

 

LAKERS 2010 NBA FINALS CHAMPIONS (4-3)

Kobe 28.6 8.0reb 3.9asst

Gasol 18.6 11.6reb 3.7asst

Metta World Peace 10.6 4.3reb 1.3 asst

Bynum 7.4 5.1reb


SPURS 2007 NBA FINALS CHAMPIONS (4-0)

Bron 22.0 7.0reb 6.8asst
MAVERICKS 2011 NBA FINALS CHAMPIONS (4-2)

WADE 26.5 7.0reb 5.2 asst

Bron 17.8 7.2reb 6.8asst

BOSH 18.5 7.3 reb 1.0asst

Chalmers avg 11.8 2.7reb 3.5 asst

HEAT 2012 NBA FINALS CHAMPIONS (4-2)

Bron 28.6 10.2reb 7.4asst

Wade 22.6 6.0reb 5.2asst

Bosh 14.6 9.4reb

Battier 11.4

Chalmers 10.4 2.6reb 4.0asst

 

Former Lakers Tyronn Lue and Luke Walton battle as coaches in the NBA Finals

Derek Fisher, Brian Shaw, and Kurt Rambis played meaningful roles with the Los Angles Lakers, combining for 12 NBA championships as players, and six as coaches. Shaw and Rambis were assistants on Phil Jackson’s staff, and Fisher is  currently head coach of the New York Knicks. But it’s two unlikely bit players in the Lakers Dynasties, Tyronn Lue and Luke Walton, who are now on the cusp of adding another ring.

Lue twice won titles in L.A. (2000 & 2001), and is most remembered for being stepped over by Allen Iverson in Game 1 of the 2001 NBA Finals. He is now an assistant coach with the Cleveland Cavaliers after spending the past five seasons in Boston and Los Angeles on the bench with Doc Rivers.

Walton won a title with the Lakers in 2010, and had a stint as an assistant coach with the University of Memphis during the 2011 NBA lockout before joining Steve Kerr with the Golden State Warriors this season.

Both work closely in player development, each possessing a wealth of experience from having played on championship teams with MVP’s. Walton has an NBA father like Steph Curry and was tootled by Phil Jackson like Steve Kerr. Lue was teammates with Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan over a span of four seasons, and was a part of the Lakers team that won a title with a 16-1 playoff record.

Kerr spurned Phil and the Knicks to put the finishing touches on what former coach Mark Jackson built. But although his tenure as president has gotten off to a rocky start with the Knicks, there should be a degree off satisfaction for Phil Jackson seeing his former players compete in the roles of coaches for an NBA championship.

Jordan Clarkson has that bounce in his game

Doc Rivers sent them boys at him.

After winning Western Conference Rookie of the Month, Chris Paul and the Los Angeles Clippers held upstart Jordan Clarkson to 2 points in a 106-78 shellacking over the Los Angeles Lakers.

He had been the talk of the town, scoring 30 points against Russell Westbrook while putting together a string of impressive games against elite Western Conference point-guards. The Clippers were well aware of it. Paul, an MVP candidate, led the reality check against Clarkson, and the ‘Watts Towers ‘ duo of Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan provided solid interior help-defense.

Clarkson was officially welcomed into relevancy  by getting schemed against on defense. 

What followed was a humiliating defeat for the Lakers which included a deficit of 43 points. Head Coach Byron Scott said he wouldn’t want to be in a foxhole with some of the players who didn’t seem interested in competing. But how would Jordan Clarkson respond to having a bad game following his award-winning month?

Scott’s message resonated with the team,  and although the Lakes were again defeated by the Clips 105-100, they displayed more interest in not being completely humiliated. Clarkson finished with 20 points in 3 quarters and made adjustments to the attention he will now receive on defense. Instead of hanging his head in the face of a superior opponent, Clarkson accepted the challenge of knowing that he will be on the opposition’s radar screen. 

 Greatness is measured in part by how a player responds to adversity. Jordan Clarkson proved he has the mental toughness to accompany his gifted physical abilities.

 

Jordan Clarkson should make NBA All-Rookie Team

Most coups occur in the middle of the night when regime change by force is unexpected. The Los Angeles Lakers executed one in plain sight during the 2014 NBA Draft with their selection of Jordan Clarkson.

Clarkson was the 46th pick in the second-round.  His 10 ppg average is more than the point-guards selected ahead of him, most notably lottery picks Dante Exum (4), and Marcus Smart (7), and LeBron James recruit, Miami’s Shabazz Napier (5). Milwaukee’s Tyler Ennis is averaging 3 ppg after being selected 18th, Detroit Piston Spencer Dinwiddie (4), and Houston Rocket Nick Johnson (2) were both selected ahead of Clarkson.  

Despite the Lakers’ forgettable season, Jordan Clarkson has taken it upon himself to remind everyone why teams had him as a first-round selection on many draft boards.

Clarkson recently scored a career-high 30 points against MVP candidate Russell Westbrook, drawing faint comparisons by Lakers Head Coach Byron Scott to the athletic scoring OKC Thunder point-guard.

Clarkson’s steal and furious slam dunk on Exum in a 100-97 Lakers win over the Jazz was evidence that he is further along in his game than the 19-year-old Aussie. Some may still believe Exum has a higher ceiling, but Clarkson’s college experience at Missouri is evident in his polished game.

After beginning the season in the shadows of Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash,  and  Jeremy Lin, Clarkson is poised to finish at the controls. His dynamic play has earned trust from his coaches and teammates.

His statistical averages of 10 points 2 rebounds and 2 assists alone garner All-Rookie recognition. But Jordan Clarkson is providing Lakers’ fans with realistic hope for next year.  For that seemingly insurmountable task alone, he should be rewarded.

Can Kobe Bryant get born again?

The Los Angeles Lakers need deliverance. They must exorcise the demons of the past three seasons in order to receive restoration. Much of that depends on the return of Kobe Bryant for his 20th NBA season.

Bryant set down with Ahmad Rashad for an exclusive interview and discussed his killer instinct, and the desire to return to glory. He cited the San Antonio Spurs success, and said he wants his career to mimic their rebirth to championship form.

So can Kobe get born again? We discuss this in the latest chapter of P.A.G.E. 24.